April 3rd, 2014

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Gabriel Goes to the Vet

The good news; she is amazingly healthy for a cat who is 15 and a half years old. She is a bit hyperthyroid, and she has been on meds for that for a few years. We'll be raising the dose a little and monitoring her progress.

The bad news is that her fur -- which can be as long as four inches -- got matted and tangled over the winter. She is not the sort of cat who permits anyone to brush her -- not without shoulder-length leather gauntlets and tranquilizers for two. Ordinarily she keeps it in good shape herself, but dry winters encourage matting. (Maybe I need to find a kitty-fur conditioner. Olive oil might work.) Once it starts to mat, that's it -- she'll need a shave.

So for the second time in her life, Gabriel is shaved down to the skin. She had to be tranquilized into sleep before the vet could do it. My poor sweet fuzzcat. Under the luxurious coat of black fur, she's a skinny pale-gray appaloosa spotted with black. And she is seriously embarrassed by her furless condition.

Last time this happened, about 10 years ago, her whole coat seized up at once into a solid piece of felt. The visiting groomer was able to cut it off like a blanket. The other cats sniffed the pelt with interest. Looked like poor Gabriel was gone, leaving only her fur behind. Then she appeared. Little Bit took one look and bolted. A ghost! Gabriel was a ghost!

So I have a question for other cat people and/or scientists. I know that Gabriel's long black fur is "smoke" -- black on the ends, pale next to the skin. What I don't understand is how that can be. Does the fur grow from the tip?

Any explanations? Thoughts? Similar experiences? Cat stories?

This entry was originally posted at http://wordweaverlynn.dreamwidth.org/592647.html. Please comment here if you want, or there using OpenID. Or send me a message via carrier pigeon or fortune cookie. I'm dying to hear from you.
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National Poetry Month: Jeanne Marie Beaumont

City

The catalogue of forms is endless:
until every shape has found its city,
new cities will continue to be born.
―Italo Calvino

Was it impossible to love the city
in which it happened?
City of unfinished structure,
city of developing forms.
Where the red crane against the blue sky
guided the calculated geometry of steel
through the delineating space.
The church sent blessings
and a parcel of its adjacent heaven.
The community assembled
a collective will of iron.
The courage to build slowly
in the determined Roman way—
to knock off at sundown,
return the next day and the next,
thermos of coffee snapped under
the metal dome of a lunch kit.
Already the neighbors’ eyes
climbed like elevators,
passing the three floors of infancy,
ten of childhood, how many
teenaged stories . . .
Out of the great blasted hole—
which had shaken their bearing walls,
which had drilled them from sleep—
it reached, square upon square,
where all that could happen would happen,
faithful to the blueprint.
Ceilings, floors, membranes of the common walls.
Even feelings seemed less abstract
once the concrete was poured.
Rooms where they lost, pined, brooded,
listened to wonderful music,
wrote letters, washed,
concocted recipes of deficiency
or excess, shifted photos
of the living with the dead.
When had they moved in?
To what lease had they signed their assent?
Now, making out envelopes, they didn’t
hesitate, writing the return address
as though it had always existed.
What began with desire, the girder,
the rising silhouette at twilight—
shape of things to come.

--Jeanne Marie Beaumont from Placebo Effects (W.W. Norton & Co.) © 1997. All rights reserved.

This entry was originally posted at http://wordweaverlynn.dreamwidth.org/592982.html. Please comment here if you want, or there using OpenID. Or send me a message via carrier pigeon or fortune cookie. I'm dying to hear from you.